Taco Mac and Cheese

Published Date: November 28, 2022

This Taco Mac and Cheese recipe is simple, quick, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser! This dish combines our favorite taco flavors into a one-pot meal full of deliciously seasoned ground beef, pasta, salsa, and lots of gooey cheese. It’s no wonder this dish disappears from the dinner table.

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Table of Contents

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • You have full control over the ingredients, so it’s easy to customize based on dietary needs and flavor preferences!
  • Taco Mac and Cheese is a 30-minute, one-pot meal for a quick dinner with minimal cleanup.
  • It’s an easy dish to enjoy now or freeze for a future meal.
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Taco Mac and Cheese Ingredients

  • Olive Oil
  • White Onion
  • Ground Beef
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Beef Broth
  • Salsa
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder
  • Pasta Shells
  • Cream Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Optional Toppings: Sour Cream, Crushed Corn Chips, Green Onions, Diced Tomatoes, Avocados

*see recipe card for amounts

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How to Make Taco Mac and Cheese on the Stove

Step 1: Using a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry the onion until soft, then add ground beef, salt, and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break up the beef as it cooks. Once cooked, drain the fat out of the pan.

Step 2: Stir in the broth, salsa, taco seasoning, garlic powder, and pasta. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and cook on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. If there is still liquid in the pot after 15 minutes, remove the lid, and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates. 

Step 3: Remove from the heat and add cream cheese and 2 cups of shredded cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted and everything is combined.

Step 4: When ready to serve, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the Taco Mac and Cheese, and serve with your favorite toppings. 

Storage and Re-heating Notes

This Taco Mac and Cheese is delicious the next day as leftovers!

IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

IN THE FREEZER: Place in the freezer in a freezer-safe container and enjoy for up to 3 months. 

REHEATING INSTRUCTIONS: You can reheat any leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave. While reheating, add a bit of beef broth to help incorporate all of the ingredients. 

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FAQS & Helpful Tips

  • This a quick and easy one-pot meal!
  • Swap out ground beef for ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground pork. 
  • If you want to make this dish spicy, use spicy salsa, or add jalapenos, cayenne, or hot sauce.
What can I use instead of a Dutch oven?

If you don’t have a Dutch oven, use a deep skillet with a lid.

Can I substitute chicken broth for beef broth?

Yes, you can swap one out for the other; the taste will just be slightly different.

What is the equivalent of cream cheese?

Cream cheese isn’t necessary for Taco Mac and Cheese, but it does add extra creaminess. If you don’t have any, you can add ½ cup of heavy cream instead.   

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Try Some of My Other Favorite Dinner Recipes

One pot taco mac & cheese in a Dutch oven topped with diced Roma tomatoes and chopped green onions.
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Taco Mac and Cheese

Taco Mac and Cheese is sure to be a hit at your dinner table! Pasta smothered in a creamy salsa with deliciously seasoned ground beef and lots of cheese is a delightful combination!  
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Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Taco Mac and Cheese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 1102kcal

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 cups dry pasta shells
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3 cups cheese shredded and divided

Optional Toppings

  • sour cream
  • crushed corn chips
  • green onions
  • diced tomato
  • avocado

Instructions

  • Using a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry the onion until soft, then add ground beef, salt, and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break up the beef as it cooks. Once cooked, drain the fat out of the pan. 
  • Stir in the broth, salsa, taco seasoning, garlic powder, and pasta. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and cook on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. If there is still liquid in the pot after 15 minutes, remove the lid, and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates.
  • Remove from the heat and add cream cheese and 2 cups of shredded cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted and everything is combined.
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the Taco Mac and Cheese, and serve with your favorite toppings.

Notes

  • This a quick and easy one-pot meal!
  • Swap out ground beef for ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground pork. 
  • If you want to make this dish spicy, use spicy salsa, or add jalapenos, cayenne, or hot sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 1102kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 194mg | Sodium: 2706mg | Potassium: 876mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2364IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 698mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @sweettea_and_sprinkles or tag #sweetteaandsprinkles
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